Deadbeat Creative Company
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S T Y L E

The style section of the Deadbeat site will include interviews with designers and shop owners, lookbook posts and recaps of personal projects incorporating illustration and collaboration.

Supreme : Sold Out

New York based media outlet, Complex have released the first instalment of their documentary “Sold Out”, covering the ever rising subculture within streetwear that is reselling. Supreme play the supply and demand game to a tee. The brand established in ’94 with it’s roots in skateboarding is now arguably more prominently known for causing snaking lines in the street at their few bricks and mortar locations and online frenzy when their product drops.  

In 1994, James Jebbia opened the first Supreme location in a small storefront on Lafayette Street in New York. At the time, Supreme was a brand for skaters by skaters-even the design for the shop was more open so skaters could come right in with their skateboards.

Since it’s inception, the streetwear juggernaut has released product in strictly limited quantities, collaborated with a formidable roster of artists, musicians and other established brands. Each with their own weight and driving force, that has culminated in it becoming the most sought after, resellable brands in the world, or at least up their with Nike and the Jordan Brand, who of course, they’ve joined forces with several times. 

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I hesitate to call them a clothing brand as they put their logo to just about everything you can think of. If you hit the webstore now you’ll see keychains, lighters, flashlights, penknives, bike locks, padlocks, just about any everyday item you can think of. There’s even a fucking £46 Braun calculator. Oh yeah, and skate hardware of course. They’ve even made branded boxing gloves, crowbars and nunchucks. I can’t decide if that’s awesome or stupid as fuck but for Supreme, it makes sense. The box logo is a testament to simple design. Make it micro or macro, fuck around with it’s application and it has the ability to become plain and reserved or ostentatious and loud all at once. That’s our take on the box logo at the top of the piece by the way. I’ve included a few looks below from the Fall/ Winter ’15 collection to demonstrate their aesthetic this season, logo strewn, classic silhouettes in multiple colour ways with strong collaborations.

This isn’t going to be a piece documenting the history of the brand by any means, however, I strongly recommend you check out their list of collaborations to get some insight into the lifestyle they attempt to curate through product. So back to “Sold Out”. It’s pretty crazy that some of these guys stock up on release day and perhaps before they’ve even left the store, at least trebled their money. As is documented in the piece, it’s lucrative enough that dudes have people in line to buy up multiples, keep a little for themselves and make a healthy living from it. Social media, forums and eBay are like the daily digest for a Supreme buyer. It’s basically it’s own stock market at this point between investments and trading.

In my experience, having visited the NY, Lafayette location a couple of years ago, seeing the lines, seeing the demographic, it’s clear that Supreme has transcended their beginnings for better or worse. I just went in to pick up a tee and honestly, it was like a military operation. In fairness, it was the end of the day so the guys probably just wanted everyone the fuck out. The last of the queue behind me were denied and I felt pretty smug for all of ten minutes. Then I pondered about how mental it is that some of these kids looked so down about not getting into a retail store. I can’t help but think how terribly pathetic and superbly smart it is at the same time. I’ve gotten a few nice items since then online but I have no intention of reselling. I suppose it comes down to how badly you want something, how much money you have and what value you place on material things.

It seems that’s what Supreme wants when it comes down to it. Keep the demand insanely high, appreciating that people will crave more and more. I’m looking forward to the rest of the documentary for more opinions on the reselling culture and can’t help but wonder if the Supreme brand identity will ever be compromised? Will it ever become over saturated? Will people stop buying as much as they do now? Press play above and enjoy. Cheers for reading.

EDIT: Part Two: Life as a Successful Supreme Reseller available here.